10 Steps to Characterize a User Experience of a New System

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When the product manager begins the process of characterizing a new system or product, it is his responsibility to research and define a wide range of aspects — for example, understanding the company’s objectives and business goals, technological characterization, setting its technical principles, defining the user experience, and understanding the product’s cognitive principles.

The design process of a new system in terms of user experience characterization is performed according to the following steps:

  • Define system terminology/glossary: especially in terms that are unique to the new system, industry, and product content world are used. Please keep it simple; show the name of the word and a description of its definition.
  • Define the system’s objective: which includes the primary purpose of the system, sub-objectives of the system, and the product’s output (if any).
  • Define the characterization scope: What are the processes that are analyzed and characterized? and which not? What are the interfaces to other parts of the system? For example, The system should support the following processes, capabilities, actions. Another example, the system will not support the processes, capabilities, following actions.
  • Describe the assumptions
  • Analyze the high-level system requirements and its implication, for example: The system shall create/ show/ monitor/ receive/ check/ open/ import/ export/ connect/ set/ update/ search/ calculate/ etc. Another example, the system shall allow the user to click/ configure/ select/ update/ etc.
  • Describe the work environment in which the user will work with the new system: a relaxed atmosphere (using the product in free time and a private environment) or stressful environment (meeting schedules, having customer requirements, performing operations in parallel). Another aspect is the physical environment: climate (fresh air, controlled environment), lighting conditions (well lit, dark, artificial light), type of device used by the user (desktop / mobile / both).
Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay
  • List the user’s roles (if there is more than one) who work on the system: sometimes, the customer and the user are not the same. There are cases where the customer pays for the system, and the user works on the product.
  • Analyze the role characteristics: the user’s role name, the description of the user’s tasks, responsibilities, the user’s tasks outside the system, and the user’s unique characteristics. The following are examples of role characteristics: availability, accessibility, user’s permissions in the product, education, previous required experience, professional and personal background, Does the user need other systems, and the interfaces required to fulfill his tasks.
  • Build a user workflows that describes the set of actions performed by the user in the system according to the operational concept.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Set UX guidelines for the product:

  1. Characterization of work processes in the system:
  • Simple and easy processes (low amount of data and low workload) or complex work processes (high amount of data and high workload).
  • Work on one process in the system from start to finish, or work on parallel processes.
  • Work processes are time-limited (or not). It is essential to inform the user regarding its implications while performing the requested actions.

2. Characterization of the number of users (of any type) in the system requires defining user management and permissions management capabilities.

3. Synchronous or asynchronous work with other users in the system.

4. Ensuring system consistency for all functionaries in the system or creating different layouts for different functionaries.

5. External system connectivity and emphasize important information when the user exits to an external system.

This section can include many varied examples, which differ to every product, and vary between different types of users.

Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay

In conclusion, characterizing a new system’s user experience is a process that requires research, learning, and going down to many details. A product user experience is essential and turns the product from a good product into a great product. In most cases, this may improve new users’ conversion rate and keep engaged users in the system. The product manager and the user experience expert have to work together to characterize the role analysis, the operating concept, the layout design and deliver it to the user.

Written by Maayan Galperin



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Maayan Galperin

Maayan Galperin

I believe that knowledge and practical tools are the keys to success in all areas of life. This is what I research, implement, train, and teach others to do.